Chicago Human Rhythm Project | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Chicago Human Rhythm Project 

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This organization, founded by Lane Alexander, is branching out. For one thing, last year the CHRP began hosting a concert in honor of National Tap Dance Day (May 25, also Bill "Bojangles" Robinson's birthday) in addition to its annual shows in August, now in their 13th year. And though the CHRP festivals have often welcomed performers who aren't straight tappers, like Israel's Sheketak and local percussive-movement group Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, this year's National Tap Dance Day program--"Ritmo Uno! The Latin Beat"--has cast its net even wider. Among the groups performing are Gingarte Capoeira, a local troupe specializing in the Brazilian martial art of capoeira, which features plenty of brandishing and striking of sticks but few percussive moves for the feet, which are bare. Also included is Dance Art Tango Company, headed by Jorge Niedas; tango has its own percussive aspect, of course, but the focus is more on the poses of the upper body than the rhythms of the lower. From Barcelona, Guillem Alonso and Roser Font of Tap Ole! perform a blend of flamenco and tap dance--a marriage that makes some sense given flamenco's rapid stamping. Holding down the traditional fort are folks like Alexander, whose smooth, mellow tapping is often backed by live music, and Ernest "Brownie" Brown, once a vaudeville and Broadway star. Tap Ole! performs all three nights. Also appearing on Friday are local flamenco troupe Jaleo!, Jimmy Payne and Perfect Timing, Julie Cartier and Especially Tap Chicago, Brown and Reggio McLaughlin, youth tap ensemble Soul to Sole, and Dance Art Tango Company. Also appearing on Saturday are hip-hop tap group M.A.D.D. Rhythms, Jay and Connie Fagan, Jan Forster's Youth Tap Ensemble, Chicago Tap Theatre, Alexander, and Gingarte Capoeira. Also appearing on Sunday are Rhythm Iss..., Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, Footprints Youth Tap Ensemble, American Dance Center Youth Tap Ensemble, the Timesteppers, and Boomshaka, a group of Northwestern University students. Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble, 773-296-1108, ext. 13. Through May 18: Friday-Saturday, 8 PM; Sunday, 7 PM. $20-$25; $50 if you want to attend the reception following the show on Saturday.

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